Books & Publications

Good Stock Strange Blood
Coffee House Press, 2017
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"Every time I read Good Stock Strange Blood , a new book awaits me. Which is to say, it's got trapdoors, trick sleeves; it takes swerves, detours, and dives. Dawn Lundy Martin's poems read like a real-time excavation of what poetry can and can't do; how the past is never past; how to stand in the blur, the 'griefmouth' of personal and collective pain, and somehow make thought, make fury, make song."

—Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts


"Martin uses a whiplash of short, punched-at-us phrases that offer a powerful sense of African American history and the struggle to define oneself for oneself, not as others would . . . An important work for sophisticated readers” —Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

Life in a Box is a Pretty Life
Nightboat Books, 2015
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"Incarceration's tortured relation to beauty is as old as the blues, as the sonnet, as Jerome's incessant decoration of his own mind, the way he (ex)tends his interiority within a bleak and blank interior while lusting after transcendence. In Life in a Box is a Pretty Life , Dawn Lundy Martin keeps this question close. Her open secret is ravishing."

—Fred Moten


" Life in a Box is a Pretty Life is a work of intricate emotional and intellectual clarity. In it, Martin suggests that though our understanding of the forces shaping the world we inhabit may be fragmentary, we persist in and in spite of them." —Sueyen Juliette Lee, Constant Critic

"Martin’s poetry is a high-wire act, a combination of audacity and control, and she likes to work without a net." —Paul Scott Stanfield, Ploughshares

Nightboat Books, 2011
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"These poems are dense and deep. They are necessary, and hot on the eye. I was reminded of Leslie Scalapino, the sensitivity to the surrounding arrangements and to human suffering. There is no distance from Martin's subject, but immersion and emotional conflict. Discipline is what it took to write such a potent set of poems."

—Fanny Howe


“I simplify things by pretending to resist,” Martin writes in Discipline, and in fact what makes this book so striking—and, I would argue, so important—is its knotted enactment of this dynamic of power and resistance" —Alan Gilbert, Poetry Foundation

"The reader happening upon this collection of poems, and expecting all of the comforts we expect from verse, will soon find herself besieged. What we have here is a reckoning—Prometheus chained and tortured for making us the gift of fire, as we are made to watch" —E.C. Belli, BOMB Magazine

No Regrets
n+1, 2013
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No Regrets talks to twelve writers, editors, academics, and artists—including Dawn Lundy Martin, Elif Batuman, Emily Gould, and many others—about life and reading in their early twenties. Edited by Dayna Tortorici.

A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering
University of Georgia, 2007
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"It is the leap, not necessarily the landing, that forces risk and invention. Martin has taken such a leap and, in the process, invented new ways in which to engage and experience language. A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering is an ambitious debut book of poems that does not consult with convention, but rather vehemently argues with it."

—Nicole Sealey


"The authority with which Martin writes will astound readers and reviewers alike; we can expect many more surprises from this promising poet." —Nicole Sealey, Drunken Boat

A collection of poems, essays, elder conversations, and visual works, Letters to the Future: Black WOMEN / Radical WRITING, celebrates temporal, spatial, formal, and linguistically innovative literature. The anthology collects late-modern and contemporary work by Black women from the United States, England, Canada, and the Caribbean—work that challenges readers to participate in meaning making. Because one contextual framework for the collection is “art as a form of epistemology,” the writing in the anthology is the kind of work driven by the writer’s desire to radically present, uncovering what she knows and does not know, as well as critically addressing the future.